Threat of rental contract termination

42 posts in this topic

Posted

I got a letter from my land-lord yesterday where they said they'll terminate my rental contract on basis of rents being late. On the same letter they state that I need to move out immediately and if I choose not to they will proceed with a court order to get an eviction. At the bottom of the letter it says something that if I haven't had similar termination of the contract within 2 years I can pay (?) the rents and the contract will go on as before. All this has been translated with my bad German and with the help our friend Google. I'm not sure what all this means in terms of a) are they really going for eviction or is this more like 'pay now!'-letter that they send out when rents are due? B) if they're going for eviction, how long it takes and what are my rights on this matter?

I've been living in the apartment for about a year now and been paying rents normally, it was just now that the situation got a bit tighter and I couldn't pay November's rent.

Any insights or help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Please scan the letter and post it here (making the personal details illegible, of course), or post the text. It's impossible to know what exactly it is you have received, and what your options are, unless we can read it (rather than getting your version of it after having put it through Google translate).

Also, to clarify: You haven't paid November or December rent then, as of now?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Also, to clarify: You haven't paid November or December rent then, as of now?

:blink:
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Google does nasty things to letters - it probably says "Merry Christmas Jazz 76!", but to be on the safe side, you really should post it on here and let those who really understand German peruse it.

Just to clarify, have you had any problems or terminations within the past two years?

-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes, November and December rents are not paid. December rent is only late for 5 days technically and when they wrote the letter (6.12.) it was late on two days. November rent I paid yesterday (again technically it's paid on Monday, since money doesn't move on weekends).

And no, I never had this kind of termination letter before. Twice before along the year I got a reminder for rent being late a week or so.

And here's the letter:

Bitte stets angeben

Fristlose Kündigung wegen Zahlungsverzugs.

Folgende Mieten wurden nicht entrichtet. (November and December)

Wegen dieser Mietrückstände kündigung wir hiermit in Namen und in Vollmacht des Vermieters das mit Ihnen bestehende Mietverhältis über die oben angeführte Wohnung fristlos gemäß § 543 Abs. 2, Satz 1 Nr. 3 BGB (Burgeliches Gesetzbuch), vorsorglich hilfweise für den Fall, dass dies fristlose Kündigung wider Erwarten unwirksam sein sollte, fristgemäß zum nächst möglichen Kündigungtermin.

Wir fordern Sie auf, die Wohnunh umgehenden zu räumen und herauszugeben. Bitte vereinbaren Sie innerhalb von drei Werktagen nach Erhalt dieses Schreibens unter der o.g. Rufnummer einen Übergabetermin. Falls Sie die Wohnung nicht zurückgeben, werden wir eine Räumungsklage gegen Sie einleiten.

Einer stillschweigenden Verlängerung des Mietverhältnisses im Sinne des § 545 BGB widersprechen wir schon jetzt.

Vorsorglich machen wir darauf aufmerksam, dass Sie gemäß § 546 a BGB trotzt Beendigung des Mietvertrages bis zur Herausgabe des Mietobjektes verpflichtet sind, eine Nutzungsentschädigung zu zahlen; dabei ist die geschuldete Miete Mindestmiete.

Die Einzelheiten zu der Rückgabe, insbesondere zu verbleibenden Pflichten wie z.B zur Durchführung von Schönheitsreparaturen, werden im Zusammenhang mit dem Übertermin geklärt werden. Sämtliche Ansprüche des Vermieters aus dem Mietvertrag und der Rückgabe der Mietsache bleiben vorbehalten.

§ 569 Abs. Nr 2 BGB bestimmt im Wohnungsmirecht:

"Die Kündigung wird auch (gemeint ist § 543 Abs. 2 Satz 2, 3 BGB) dann unwirksam, wenn der Vermieter spätenstens bis zum Ablauf von zwei Monaten nach Eintritt der Rechtshängigkeit des Räumungsanspruchs hinsichtlich der fälligen Miete und der fälligen Entschädigung nach § 546 a Abs. 1 befriedigt wird oder sich eine öffentliche Stelle zur Befriedigung verpflichtet. Dies gilt nicht, wenn der Kündigung vor nicht länger als zwei Jahren bereits eine nach Satz 1 unwirksam gewordene Kündigung vorausgegangen ist."

Demnach können Sie die Beendigungswirkung dieser Kündigung durch Zahlung der eingangs genannten Rückstände nur dann verhindern, wenn Ihnen nicht vor höchstens 2 Jahren schon einmal eine Kündigung wegen Zahlungsverzuges zugegangen ist, auf die die damaligen Fehlbeträge getilgt wurden.

Sollten Sie Zahlungen leisten bzw. eine öffentliche Stelle für Sie eintreten, so informieren Sie uns bitte sofort telefonisch oder schriftlich per Telefax, da Überweisungen und Buchungen einige Zeit in Anspruch nehmen können.

Thanks for help in advance!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Good internet source for advice on rental laws in Germany (in German) Mietrecht

German Basic Law (in English) on the Internet. German Government source.

Your landlord has simply followed the standard legal requirements applicable to issuing notice under the circumstances of rental payments in default.

Here are both the relevant paragraphs, in English. I have bolded some parts of the text in order to highlight the linkage between the current and potential past notice periods etc.

Section 543Termination for cause without notice for a compelling reason

Section 543

Termination for cause without notice for a compelling reason

(1)Each party to the contract may terminate the lease for cause without notice for a compelling reason. A compelling reason is deemed to obtain if the party giving notice, with all circumstances of the individual case taken into account, including without limitation fault of the parties to the contract, and after weighing the interests of the parties, cannot be reasonably expected to continue the lease until the end of the notice period or until the lease ends in another way.

(2)A compelling reason is deemed to obtain in cases including without limitation where

1. the lessee is not permitted the use of the leased property in conformity with contract, in whole or in part, in good time, or is deprived of this use,

2. the lessee violates the rights of the lessor to a substantial degree by substantially endangering the leased property by neglecting to exercise the care incumbent upon him or by allowing a third party to use it without authorisation, or

3. the lessee

a) is in default, on two successive dates, of payment of the rent or of a portion of the rent that is not insignificant, or

b ) in a period of time spanning more than two dates is in default of payment of the rent in an amount that is as much as the amount of rent for two months.

In the case of sentence 1 no. 3, termination is excluded if the lessor has by then obtained satisfaction. It becomes ineffective if the lessee has succeeded in discharging his debt by set-off and declares set-off without undue delay after notice of termination is given.

(3)If the compelling reason consists in the violation of an obligation under the lease, then the notice of termination is only permitted after the expiry without result of a reasonable period specified for the purpose of obtaining relief or after an unheeded warning notice. This does not apply if

1. a notice period or a warning notice obviously shows no chance of succeeding,

2. immediate termination for special reasons is justified, weighing the interests of both parties, or

3. the lessee is in default of payment of rent within the meaning of subsection (2) no. 3.

(4)Sections 536b and 536d are to be applied with the necessary modifications to the right to notice of termination to which the lessee is entitled under subsection (2) no. 1. If it is in dispute whether the lessor granted use of the leased property in good time or provided relief prior to expiry of the period specified for this purpose, then he bears the burden of proof.

Section 569Termination for cause without notice for a compelling reason

(1)A compelling reason within the meaning of section 543 (1) for the lessee also exists if the leased residential space is in such a condition that its use entails a significant endangerment of health. This also applies if the lessee knew of the hazardous condition when he entered into the lease agreement or waived his rights arising from this condition.

(2)A compelling reason within the meaning of section 543 (1) also exists if one party to the contract permanently disturbs the domestic peace in such a way that the party giving notice, taking all circumstances of the specific case into account, including without limitation fault of the parties to the contract, and weighing the interests of both parties, cannot reasonably be expected to continue the lease to the end of the notice period or until the lease is terminated in another way.

(3)In supplement to section 543 (2) sentence 1 no. 3, the rules are:

1. In the case of section 543 (2) sentence 1, no. 3, letter a, the part of the rent in arrears may only be deemed not to be insignificant if it exceeds the rent for one month. This does not apply if the residential space is leased only for temporary use.

2. The notice of termination also becomes ineffective if, at the latest by the end of two months after the eviction claim is pending, the lessor is satisfied or a public authority agrees to satisfy the lessor with regard to the rent due and the compensation due under section 546a (1). This does not apply if, no longer than two years earlier, the notice of termination was preceded by a notice of termination that became ineffective under sentence 1 above.

3. If the lessee has been finally and absolutely ordered to pay an increased rent under sections 558 to 560, then the lessor may not terminate the lease for default in payment of the lessee before the end of two months after the final and absolute order unless the requirements for termination for cause without notice have already been satisfied due to rent previously owed.

(4)The compelling reason leading to termination must be stated in the notice of termination.

(5)An agreement diverging from subsections (1) to (3) of this provision or from section 543 to the disadvantage of the lessee is ineffective. In addition, an agreement is also ineffective under which the lessor is to be entitled to terminate the lease for cause without notice for other reasons than those permitted by law.

HTH

2B

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Jazz 76 are you able to pay the arrears? is it worth talking to your bank?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It seems to me that you need to put this at the very top of your "to do" list and get things moving tomorrow - one way or the otehr, you have to pay your rent, and also make sure that the landlord has proof that you have payed it.

As Moonboot suggested, maybe talk to your bank first thing tomorrow.

If you do not sort this out straight away, you really will be out on the street, and with nobody to blame but yourself!

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for your answers. My other question was that, in case of them pursuing the eviction, don't they need a court order for that and inform me of the upcoming court date so that we won't be on the street next thing on Monday?

Regardless of the above, of course I'm pursuing to solve the thing as quickly as possible, first thing on Monday morning. But before that I just wanted to know a bit more where I stand since this is the first (and hopefully the last) time I'm in a situation like this. What I can do now is at least get the November rent paid as I stated above. Would that change the legal status of the situation or are the matters already in the hands of the land lord who can now decide whet ever or not they accept my payments at this point and revoke the termination.

Thanks!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Bitte stets angeben

Fristlose Kündigung wegen Zahlungsverzugs.

Folgende Mieten wurden nicht entrichtet. (November and December)

Wegen dieser Mietrückstände kündigung wir hiermit in Namen und in Vollmacht des Vermieters das mit Ihnen bestehende Mietverhältis über die oben angeführte Wohnung fristlos gemäß § 543 Abs. 2, Satz 1 Nr. 3 BGB (Burgeliches Gesetzbuch), vorsorglich hilfweise für den Fall, dass dies fristlose Kündigung wider Erwarten unwirksam sein sollte, fristgemäß zum nächst möglichen Kündigungtermin.

Wir fordern Sie auf, die Wohnunh umgehenden zu räumen und herauszugeben. Bitte vereinbaren Sie innerhalb von drei Werktagen nach Erhalt dieses Schreibens unter der o.g. Rufnummer einen Übergabetermin. Falls Sie die Wohnung nicht zurückgeben, werden wir eine Räumungsklage gegen Sie einleiten.

Einer stillschweigenden Verlängerung des Mietverhältnisses im Sinne des § 545 BGB widersprechen wir schon jetzt.

Vorsorglich machen wir darauf aufmerksam, dass Sie gemäß § 546 a BGB trotzt Beendigung des Mietvertrages bis zur Herausgabe des Mietobjektes verpflichtet sind, eine Nutzungsentschädigung zu zahlen; dabei ist die geschuldete Miete Mindestmiete.

Die Einzelheiten zu der Rückgabe, insbesondere zu verbleibenden Pflichten wie z.B zur Durchführung von Schönheitsreparaturen, werden im Zusammenhang mit dem Übertermin geklärt werden. Sämtliche Ansprüche des Vermieters aus dem Mietvertrag und der Rückgabe der Mietsache bleiben vorbehalten.

§ 569 Abs. Nr 2 BGB bestimmt im Wohnungsmirecht:

"Die Kündigung wird auch (gemeint ist § 543 Abs. 2 Satz 2, 3 BGB) dann unwirksam, wenn der Vermieter spätenstens bis zum Ablauf von zwei Monaten nach Eintritt der Rechtshängigkeit des Räumungsanspruchs hinsichtlich der fälligen Miete und der fälligen Entschädigung nach § 546 a Abs. 1 befriedigt wird oder sich eine öffentliche Stelle zur Befriedigung verpflichtet. Dies gilt nicht, wenn der Kündigung vor nicht länger als zwei Jahren bereits eine nach Satz 1 unwirksam gewordene Kündigung vorausgegangen ist."

Demnach können Sie die Beendigungswirkung dieser Kündigung durch Zahlung der eingangs genannten Rückstände nur dann verhindern, wenn Ihnen nicht vor höchstens 2 Jahren schon einmal eine Kündigung wegen Zahlungsverzuges zugegangen ist, auf die die damaligen Fehlbeträge getilgt wurden.

Sollten Sie Zahlungen leisten bzw. eine öffentliche Stelle für Sie eintreten, so informieren Sie uns bitte sofort telefonisch oder schriftlich per Telefax, da Überweisungen und Buchungen einige Zeit in Anspruch nehmen können.

As your OP correctly assumed your landlord (or his agent) have, in view of the non-receipt of two months rental payments, issued you with a termination without notice which includes all the legalistic wording which objects in advance to any and all optional get-out clauses which a tenant may wish to avail themselves of. This is no more than basic CYA* 101 for German rental management companies, so no reason to panic.

They have requested you to advise them within 3 working days of the date you intend to hand over the premises you are in occupation of. You may avoid this demand by paying the rental arrears at once. In the event you do not comply they have outlined the financial penalty situation as regards ongoing loss of use charges (the current rent being the minimum calculation basis) and your liabilities wrt condition of property on handing over.

As they have pointed out, in order to avoid the eviction taking effect, if you, or any official source (eg. Sozialamt, BfA, or other public authority) intend to bring the arrears up to date you must be pro-active and inform them at once by telephone or, if in writing, by fax (as transfers and credit bookings may take time).

However, what they don't need to say is that, in order to prevent this notice taking automatic effect (without the normally long drawn out procedure in law) you must not fall in to arrears again during the next 2 years.

*CYA = Cover Your Arse

2B

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes, of course, they would need to apply for, and obtain, a court order in order to actually evict you should you not voluntarily leave. That would take some weeks, if not months, and may even be delayed by a series of cunning legal arguments for maybe up to 12 or 15 months.

Who would end up bearing the costs of such a process is a matter of conjecture at this stage, although my money would be on it being you. Once you are involved in such a case, you may find your chances of finding an alternative flat (usually requiring a reference from your previous landlord) or obtaining credit needed to fund moving costs (or cover an extra security deposit), become substantially worse. I would try to avoid allowing that situation to develop.

My advice would be to first pay as much as you can at once, then try and negotiate additional rental payments to catch-up.

Concurrently I would approach your bank, your employer, your family or friends, and the BfA or Sozialamt to enquire about any eligibility for HarzIV top-up (or an emergency loan to avoid becoming homeless).

Work on getting things back in balance ASAP and don't panic.

2B

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

In future pay your rent by a monthly standing order payment through your bank (Dauerauftrag) even if you have to occasionally overdraw your bank account. That's far better than risking being thrown out on the street because of rent arrears.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thank you all for your advices. It's been a great help in understanding the matter at hand. I will post an update tomorrow of things turn out with the land lord.

Thanks again!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Don't contact your landlord until you've paid all the overdue rent in full. Otherwise the first thing he'll ask you is whether you've paid the rent already and might get a bit flippant with you if you answer no.

Once you've paid the overdue rent, the eviction proceedings will cease (this time around).

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

if you CAN pay, well, not much question there, isn't it?

But if you need urgent money for something else, like eating, think of your priorities.

Talking to the landlord is useless.

Talking to your bank would help verifying if you can get a bridging loan to pass the hard times. This is the least problematic solution, if you can get it.

If nobody can get you money, then paying one or two months in arrears will not solve anything, except that you will be hungry tomorrow.

Understand that a court order takes time, and that you can explain your situation such that any eviction will be effectively delayed. This wont make the debt go away, but will give you the time to sort out a solution.

good luck, hope things get better for you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm not a banker, but wouldn't this kind of letter be looked on more favorably by your bank? I mean its not like you'd just be waltzing in there to ask for an overdraft to buy the latest luxury item - it concerns the roof over your head... Then again, if you do decide to show the bank the letter in support of your request for financial help, it kind of proves you might have financial problems, and maybe this could discourage them from lending if they have reason to think this is anything other than just a temporary glitch.

But in any case, you mentioned you were a few days late on other occassions. Does this have anything to do with the dates money comes in e.g. from your employer if you are paid not monthly but weekly, bi-weekly etc...? If so, once you have brought yourself up to date and tried to normalize the situation with the landlord, it might be a better time to see if you could arrange different dates with e.g. your landlord or your employer's payroll/HR dept.

Even if you get paid monthly, this varies from company to company and might not match the rent due dates. With some companies pay is in your bank account "no later than" 28th of month, others on last working day of month. And even then there are occasional payroll glitches. As tradition (not entitlement), we always paid the December month by Dec 23rd, then all other months "no later than 28th". One year we had a huge tech problem in Dec and we couldn't honor either the December tradition, nor the usual "no later than 28th" rule. That year, our workers got paid for Dec very late around Jan 7th and it caused a real stink in HR/employee relationships. We emailed letterheaded memos to all employees affected so they could use the letter should they need to go the bank for credit in the meantime. For those who approached us and couldn't wait, we also made "emergency Vorschuss" of salaries in the days between Dec 23rd and Jan 1st.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Then again, if you do decide to show the bank the letter in support of your request for financial help, it kind of proves you might have financial problems, and maybe this could discourage them from lending if they have reason to think this is anything other than just a temporary glitch.

Bingo.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I got a letter from my land-lord yesterday where they said they'll terminate my rental contract on basis of rents being late.

Legally, you're in a better position if rent was paid late than if it wasn't paid at all (as appears to have been the case when the landlord's letter was sent).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

So, now I have paid all the late rents, sent a polite letter via fax to my land-lord with accompanying receipts of the payments. Let's see how things go from here. So far (obviously) no one has got back to me. I will update as things progress.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Now I have called three times to the office, left two messages and once talked to a person I think was the secretary and as so far no one has been in contact with me although I've asked reply both in my fax and left a msg through the secretary. Secretary was kind enough to tell me that my faxes have been received. Interesting in this thing is the fact that I've tried to contact them but in the end I have nothing prove that I actually have - faxes can get lost etc. How can I contact the agency in a way that later I can proof (if needed) that I have done so as they have requested? Or can just kick back and think it's all settled now?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Keep the confirmation page that your fax (should have) printed out when you sent this.

As far as I know, this is proof.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and nor would I want to be one...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

How can I contact the agency in a way that later I can proof (if needed) that I have done so as they have requested?

Well, I'm happy for you that you (were in a position to and) have taken the ideal course of action under the circumstances, Jazz_76.

Like Hazza, IANAL, but I have read of several German court cases in which claims were denied because it was argued, that while the confirmation page of a fax proved that a fax had been sent, that proved neither what the contents were nor that the fax had been received intact and complete.

AFAIK the only sure way any German authority, company, organisation, or individual will act on, or acknowledge by receipt, any request is if you send it, registered with a receipt request (Einschreiben mit Ruckschein), by Post. Print out the contents of your fax, (including scanned copies of the bank transfers), as a letter and take it to the Post. The returned copy of the Ruckschein from the Post becomes your evidence in law that they got it on such and such date.

2B

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Then again, if you do decide to show the bank the letter in support of your request for financial help, it kind of proves you might have financial problems ...

I am intrigued. How do you propose to hide the fact you have financial problems from your bank? They're the first to know; they're generally not stupid.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now